October 14, 2009
Chili or Spicy Arabic Sausage Stew?
A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. First forgive me for the really unappetizing picture. As I hand wash dishes I just didn't feel like "plating" it as I normally do. So this is how it looks, khalas! (Arabic for finished!)
I was craving some good ole American food and a friend mentioned having chili and Mexican cornbread. YUM. Of course she lives in W. Virginia where it's chilly now and we have yet to go below mid 90s but hey, I can turn the A/C down!
OK so I had to source my products. I wanted to make this yummy chili-like soup my sister shared the recipe for. It has 4 beans and uses taco seasoning and dry ranch dressing mix. It is UNBELIEVABLY good.
Well I could find dark red kidney beans and white beans but no black or small red ones. OK no problem. I'll just use 2 types. Then I couldn't find the taco seasoning. Alright, I can make my own, it'll be close. Well I can't really make my own dry ranch seasoning so no worries, it'll be a regular chili. It's all good!
I always put meat in my chili; animal fat gives a richness just not found in it's veggie counterparts. All my carnivorous friends let me hear ya! lol Anyway I have used ground beef here once (all the meat is really fresh and safe) but it cooked up beige. Beige. Ohhh no. That does not bode well for me eating it.
Let me explain WHY. In Islam there are certain conditions that must be met in order to slaughter an animal. One it should be done in as humane a way as possible. No electrocution or disgusting living quarters. To be Islamically correct the neck of any animal is slit and the blood allowed to drain out. This is why the meat looks different. I am happy the animal was killed more humanely but sad my beef was beige!
Long story short, I couldn't eat it. I am weird with meat and milk products and that was that. So we found some lovely looking sausages called merguez. They originated in Tunisia and Algeria and are spicy and really pretty. I decided to give them a go.
My end product? A two-bean Arabic spicy sausage stew. Yummy, fragrant, thick enough to scoop up onto pita bread (don't get me started on my inability to procure cornmeal!!!) and a nice meal. The addition of chickpeas or lentils would have been really good and fit in with the new taste I think as well.
However I will never buy dried kidney beans again. Those things are impossible to cook!!! I did the fast soak where you boil rapidly for 2 minutes, cover, and let set for 1 hour. Drain off liquid and hopefully some of the side-effect inducing gases and you are good to go.
Except I cooked those beans for 6 hours and they were still a bit al-dente! lol Anyway it tasted good, Aami liked it and so did I. Abdullah had a headache tonight (too much work on his dissertation) and hasn't partaken yet.
Alright so here is the recipe:
4 large mergueza links (could use spicy italian turkey sausage or turkey chorizo)
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp. tomato paste
2 cups dried dark red kidney beans, soaked overnight, discard water
3 tbsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. HOT chili powder (plain unadulterated chilis, NOT U.S. chili powder blend!)
2 tsp. salt or to taste
2 tbsp. oregano
2 tbsp. oil
splash of orange juice for a little tart sweetness
1 can white beans
1 can sweet corn
1/4 head shredded cabbage
OK so put beans in the pot (if using dried cook the dried beans, garlic, & onion first til half-way cooked before adding other ingredients) and fill about 3 inches over with water. Add the onion, garlic, spices and tomato paste and cook til mid-way tender. Add the sausages and cook at least 45 minutes to ensure they are well-done. The last things to add are the canned veggies and the cabbage. Cook til cabbage is desired softness and adjust seasoning as needed.
Say bismillah and enjoy!